Rockfall / Rockslide

In addition to rock faces, rockfall can also originate in areas with loose stone and rock (old rockfall deposits, talus or screen, moraine). Loose rock, also known as unconsolidated rock, is rock whose components are only loosely attached. Picture: Rockfall Ergisch, Bernhard Krummenacher 1993

Rockfall often occurs suddenly without any advance warning. Picture: Rockfall Schynige Platte, Bernhard Krummenacher 1997

With rockfall, the falling mass often ruptures at geological joints, cracks and crevices. Bild: Rockfall Schynige Platte, Bernhard Krummenacher 1997

Einer Sage nach soll vor langer Zeit bei Burglauenen ein ganzes Dorf durch einen Felssturz zuerstört worden sein. Auf diesem Foto sieht man einen Felssturz der nur knapp zwischen zwei Häusern hinunter kam. Picture: Rockfall Harder, Bernhard Krummenacher 1991

Rockfall often starts on fissured rock faces. Picture: Rockfall Campocologno, Bernhard Krummenacher 26.08.2002

According to legend, an entire village near Burglauenen is said to have been destroyed by rockfall. This photograph shows rockfall that barely missed two houses as it descended the slope. Picture: Rockfall Burglauenen, Hans-Rudolf Keusen 02.02.1994

The Alps arose between 50 - 5 million years ago. A mountain range of this age is considered young in geological terms and is characterised by particularly high peaks and steep valleys. Hence falling blocks of rock and the sliding of masses of rock down into the valleys are practically everyday events in the Alps.